The Circus Performer

How your support is transforming young lives.

SOS Children’s Villages believes that no child should grow up alone. Our first priority is to support families at risk to prevent family breakdown, so that children do not need alternative care. This is carried out through our Family Strengthening Program. In cases where a child cannot be cared for by their family of origin, we provide quality alternative family-based care in the form of Children’s Villages, where children grow up as part of an SOS family.

Abeba’s* family was supported through the SOS Family Strengthening Program.

The Circus Performer

14-year-old Abeba lost her loving father in a traffic accident when she was nine. She lives in a household of women, with her mother and her younger sisters. Although her father passed away five years ago, Abeba still remembers him fondly. “My father loved his family. As his eldest daughter, he used to encourage me to focus on my education. I’ll never forget the different rewards that he used to give me at times of my great academic achievements, and how he would encourage me to improve my childhood hobby of performing circus. He used to take me to the circus show all the time,” Abeba recalls.

After the terrible incident, Abeba’s mother, a widowed mother of three, struggled to cover the costs of the house rent and other living expenses. “I had to sell my gold wedding ring to pay for house rent and school fees,” she says. The following year, instead of putting on her school uniform and joining her peers, Abeba stayed home and started selling roasted peanuts and grains in the street, to help her mother make some money.

Abeba’s mother started washing clothes for extra income, and rented a shanty house in the outskirts of the city. Even still, the family were not able to cover all of their expenses; every day was stressful.

Seeing the family’s situation, Abera, an old neighbour approached SOS Children’s Villages in Makalle hoping to get the family the support they desperately needed.

Now, with support through the SOS Family Strengthening Program, Abeba is back at school, and is one of the best students in her class. The family has a living allowance, and his provided with the educational materials and the basic necessities they need to relieve them of their financial burdens, while Abeba’s mother pursues vocational training, to better be able to support her children. Abeba continues to practice circus as her way of keeping her father’s memories alive.


*The name has been changed to protect the privacy of the child.